Ark Animal Sanctuary

9 years ago

Asking for help isn’t always an easy thing to do. Sometimes our pride gets in the way. We all want to believe we can take care of our problems by ourselves but that isn’t always the case. When a person puts their pride aside and reaches out for help and they are refused help, that is even harder. The story I am about to tell you is what happened when one local woman reached out for help.

A few weeks ago a lady was driving down a street when some kittens dashed out into the road in front of her. She stopped her vehicle, gathered the kittens and knocked on the door where the kittens came from. She was told that there were many cats out back and that she was welcome to look, and also to take any she wanted. When she went into the backyard, the picnic table was covered with cats!

She quickly gathered up six kittens and took them home, all infested with fleas and with upper respiratory issues. Knowing that she was in over her head she called The Ark in hopes that we could help. She told me the situation and I met with her to get the six kittens. She then agreed to take me to the place where she found them. The owner was very cooperative and welcomed the help from us. Once the necessary paperwork was completed we started catching the cats we could that day, and we were welcomed back anytime to catch the remaining cats.

On the second day I received a phone call from the lady who lived in the house asking if she was in trouble. I told her no and asked why she would think that. Her reply was, “Because I have so many cats.” I assured her that our goal was only to spay and neuter so they could no longer reproduce unwanted litters of kittens and find homes for them; our goal was not to embarrass anyone.

She then explained to me that she had asked for help and was told that because she had been feeding the cats for more than five days, she now officially owned them. She also told me she could not turn her back on the cats and let them starve, so she did the humane thing and fed them, but she knew she did not have the means to get them all neutered or spayed, so what was a small problem in the beginning had now turned into major problem.

If the issue had been addressed when she reached out for help there would have been maybe five or six cats, but because she fed the cats and now officially owned them and could not afford to alter them, the situation had turned into 21 cats. Of the 21 there were multiple litters of kittens, totaling 11 kittens in all. The total number of females was 11, which means they can start reproducing in a few short months.

Left unattended, this situation could have literally turned into 50 or more cats very easily. To put things in perspective, on the average, it would cost $100 or more to get each cat altered. Do the math: Altering six cats or waiting until the situation has bombarded out of control and alter 50 cats? Seems like an obvious answer to me.

This is not the only situation out there where people have been told, “If you feed the cat you own it.” I am not sure where this information originated from, but I think it is about time we change our way of thinking and do the right thing. We need to stop taking the easy way out and help people who have situations that are out of control. By working with the community we solve a big issue of unwanted litters being born. Yes, it may cost a little money and some time and effort, but in the long run it will save money and save lives.

We are in this for the animals that have no voice. That is why The Ark was founded and that is what sets us apart. We do not and will not wait for situations to get out of control. We are out there every day making a difference and offering our help to those in need.

At this point we have removed 21 cats from this situation. Out of the 21, seven have been released back (because they are feral) with clipped ears so we can identify that they have been altered and the lady has agreed to feed them and knows that if she needs assistance with that we are only a phone call away. At the end of the day we have helped 21 cats, made new friends and prevented future litters of unwanted cats. We have an amazing group of volunteers who all put the wheels in motion to help these cats. They are the backbone of The Ark and they do whatever it takes to help the animals.

Our objective is clear to help the animals that have no voice, we try not to burn any bridges and we have the utmost respect for our volunteers and what they do. No one person does this single handedly it is a team effort. Every day we gain more and more support in this community and we are very proud of that. Together we are unstoppable!

Thank you for your continued support and as always thank you for reading our column.